Pink VI: Chapter One and Contest!

Once again, my publisher and I find ourselves on the thorns of a floral dilemma. As some of you may know, my working title for Pink VI was “Something Something Something Marigold”, since the spy in the novel is named the Marigold.

But let’s face it, Penelope isn’t the sort of heroine to stand aside and let another character determine the title of her book. (Plus, my publisher didn’t like marigold in the title). We need another flower, but not just any flower. We need a flower that screams “Penelope!” to you.

To help you get acquainted with Penelope, I’ve posted the entire first chapter of Pink VI below. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the excerpt and come up with a flower for Penelope.

The winner will receive a credit in the Acknowledgments and a free advance copy of Pink VI.

Let the gardening begin!

Chapter One

There were times when Lady Frederick Staines, nee Miss Penelope Deveraux, deeply regretted her lack of a portable rack and thumbscrews.

Now was one of them. Rain drummed against the roof of the carriage like a set of impatient fingers. Penelope knew just how it felt.

“You spoke to Lord Wellesley, didn’t you?” she asked her husband, as though her husband’s interview with the Governor General of India were one of complete indifference to her and nothing at all to do with the way she was expected to spend the next year of her life.

Freddy shrugged.

Penelope was learning to hate that shrug. It was a shrug amply indicative of her place in the world, somewhere just about on a level with a sofa cushion, convenient to lean against but unworthy of conversational effort.

That hadn’t been the case eight months ago.

Eight months ago they hadn’t been married. Eight months ago Freddy had still been trying to get her out of the ballroom into an alcove, a balcony, a bedroom, whichever enclosed space could best suit the purpose of seduction. It was a fitting enough commentary on the rake’s progress, from silver tongued seducer to indifferent spouse in the space of less than a year.

Not that Freddy had ever been all that silver-tongued. Nor, to be fair, had he done all the seducing.

How was she to have known that a bit of canoodling on a balcony would land them both in India?

Outside, rain pounded against the roof of the carriage, not the gentle tippety tap of an English drizzle, but the full out deluge of an Oriental monsoon. They had sailed up the Hooghly into Calcutta that morning after five endless months on a creaking, pitching vessel, replacing water beneath them with water all around them, rain crashing against the Esplanade, grinding the carefully planted English flowers that lined the sides into the muck, all but obscuring the conveyance that had been sent for them by the Governor General himself, with its attendant clutter of soaked and chattering servants, proffering umbrellas, squabbling over luggage, pulling and propelling them into a very large, very heavy carriage.

If she had thought about it at all, Penelope would have expected Calcutta to be sunny.

But then, she hadn’t given it much thought, not any of it. It had all happened too quickly for thought, ruined in January, married in February, on a boat to the tropics by March. The future had seemed unimportant compared to the exigencies of the present. Penelope had been too busy brazening it out to wonder about little things like where they were to go and how they were to live. India was away and that was enough. Away from her mother’s shrill reproaches (“If you had to get yourself compromised, couldn’t you at least have picked an older son?”); Charlotte’s wide-eyed concern; Henrietta’s clumsy attempts to get her to “talk about it”, as though talking would make the least bit of difference to the reality of it all. Ruined was ruined was ruined, so what was the point of compounding it by discussing it?

There was even, if she were being honest, a certain grim pleasure to it, to having put paid to her mother’s matrimonial schemings and poked a finger in the eye of every carping old matron who had ever called her fast. Ha! Let them see how fast she could be. All things considered, she had got out of it rather lightly. Freddy might be selfish, but he was seldom cruel. He didn’t have crossed eyes or a hunched back (unlike that earl her mother had been throwing at her). He wasn’t violent in his cups, he might be a dreadful card player but he had more than enough blunt to cover his losses, and he possessed a reasonable proficiency in those amorous activities that had propelled them into matrimony.

Freddy was, however, still sulky about having been roped into wedlock. It wasn’t the being married he seemed to mind—as he had said, with a shrug, when he tossed her a betrothal ring, one had to get married sooner or later and it might as well be to a stunner—as the loss of face among his cronies at being forced into it. He tended to forget his displeasure in the bedroom, but it surfaced in a dozen other minor ways.

Including deliberately failing to tell her anything at all about his interview with Lord Wellesley.

“Well?” demanded Penelope. “Where are we to go?”

Freddy engaged in a lengthy readjustment of his neck cloth. Even with his high shirt points beginning to droop in the heat and his face flushed with the Governor-General’s best madeira, he was still a strapping specimen of aristocratic pulchritude, the product of generations of breeding, polishing, and grooming from the burnished dark blond of his hair to the perfectly honed contours of his face. Penelope could picture him pinned up in a naturalist’s cupboard, a perfect example of homus aristocraticus.

“Hyderabad,” he said at last.

“Hyderawhere?” It sounded like a sneeze.

“Hyderabad,” repeated Freddy, in that upper class drawl that turned boredom into a form of art. “It’s in the Deccan.”

That might have helped had she had the slightest notion of where—or what—the Deccan was.
In retrospect, it might have been wiser to have spent some time aboard ship learning about the country that was to be her home for the next year, rather than poking about in the rigging and flirting with the decidedly middle-aged Mr. Buntington in the hope of readjusting Freddy’s attention from the card table. The upshot of it all was that she had learned more than she ever wanted to know about the indigo trade and Freddy had lost five hundred pounds by the time they reached the Cape of Good Hope.

“And what are we to do there?” she asked, in tones of exaggerated patience.

“I,” said Freddy, idly stretching his shoulders within the confines of the tight cut of his coat, “am to be Special Envoy to the Court of Hyderabad.”

And what of me? Penelope wanted to ask. But she already knew the answer to that. She was to be toted along like so much unwanted baggage, expected to bow to his every whim in atonement for an act that was as much his doing as hers. An ungrateful baggage, her mother had called her, tossing up to her all the benefits that had been showered upon her, the lessons, the dresses, the multitude of golden guineas that had been expended upon her launch into Society.

It didn’t matter that Penelope would have preferred to have run tame in Norfolk, riding the wildest of her father’s horses and terrifying the local foxes. She was, she had been told, to be grateful for the lessons, the dresses, the Season, just as she was to be grateful that Freddy had condescended to marry her, even if she knew that his acquiescence had been bought and bullied out of him by the considerable wealth and influence of the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale.

The thought of the dowager brought a pinched feeling to Penelope’s chest, as though her corset strings were tied too tight. Penelope elbowed it aside. There was no point in being homesick for the Dowager or Lady Uppington or Henrietta or Charlotte. They would all have forgotten about her within the month. Oh, they would write, letters that would be six months out of date by the time they arrived, but they had their own families, their own concerns, of which Penelope was, at best, on the very periphery.

That left only Freddy.

“What, no residency of your own?” goaded Penelope. “Only a little envoy-ship?”

That got his attention. Freddy’s ego, Penelope had learned after their abrupt engagement, was a remarkably tender thing, sublimely susceptible to poking.

Freddy looked down his nose at her. It might not be quite a Norman nose, but Penelope was sure it was at least Plantagenet. “Wellesley had a special assignment for me, one only I could accomplish.”

“Bon vivant?” suggested Penelope sweetly. “Or official loser at cards?”

Freddy scrubbed a hand through his guinea gold hair. “I had a run of bad luck,” he said irritably. “It happens to everyone.”

“Mmm-hmm,” purred Penelope. “To some more frequently than others.”

“Wellesley needs me in Hyderabad,” Freddy said stiffly. “I’m to be his eyes and ears.”

Penelope made a show of playing with the edge of her fan. “Hasn’t he a set of his own?”

“Intelligence,” Freddy corrected. “I’m to gather intelligence for him.”

Penelope broke into laughter at the absurdity of Freddy playing spy in a native palace. He would stand out like a Norman knight in Saladin’s court. “A fine pair of ears you’ll make when you can’t even speak the language. Unless the inhabitants choose to express themselves in mime.”

“The inhabitants?” Freddy wrinkled his brow. “Oh, you mean the natives. Wouldn’t bother with them. It’s James Kirkpatrick the Governor General wants me to keep an eye on. The Resident. Wellesley thinks he’s gone soft. Too much time in India, you know.”

“I should think that would be an asset in governing the place.”

Freddy regarded her with all the superiority of his nine months’ stint in a cavalry unit in Seringapatam. From what she had heard, he had spent far more time in the officer’s mess than the countryside. “Hardly. They go batty with the heat and start reading Persian poetry and wearing native dress. Wellesley says there’s even a chance that Kirkpatrick’s turned Mohammedean. It’s a disgrace.”

“I think I should enjoy native dress,” said Penelope, lounging sideways against the carriage seat, like a perpendicular Mme. Recamier. The thin muslin of her dress shifted with her as she moved, molded to her limbs by the damp. “It should allow one more… freedom.”

“Well, I’ll be damned before I go about in a dress,” declared Freddy, but he was looking at her, genuinely looking at her for the first time since he had rolled out of bed that morning.
Letting her eyelids drop provocatively, Penelope delicately ran her tongue around her lips, reveling in the way his gaze sharpened on her.

“You’ll probably be damned anyway,” murmured Penelope, allowing the motion of the carriage to carry her towards him, “so why fuss about the wardrobe?”

With an inarticulate murmur, Freddy caught her hard around the waist. Penelope twined her arms around his neck, pressing closer, despite the wide silver buttons that bored through the muslin of her dress, branding his crest into the flesh above her ribs.

At least they had this, if nothing else. She knew his smell, his taste, the curve of his cheek against the palm of her hand as one knew the gaits of a favorite horse, with a comfort grown of eight months’ constant use. Penelope wiggled closer, running her hands against the by now familiar muscles of arm and shoulder, giving herself up to the fleeting counterfeit of intimacy offered by his hand pressed against her back, his lips moving along the curve of her neck.

Until the carriage rocked to a stop and Freddy set her aside with no more concern than if she had been a carriage rug provided for his convenience on the journey. Lust might work to get his attention, but it was remarkably ineffectual at keeping it.

Penelope quickly straightened her bodice as the inevitable crowd of servants descended upon the carriage, yanking open the door, carrying over a portable flight of steps, running forward with blazing torches that too clearly illuminated Penelope’s disarray.

By the time Penelope reached up to fix her hair, Freddy had already swung out of the carriage. He had been trained to do the gentlemanly thing, so he held out a hand in her general direction, but he was already angled towards the portico, the party, the inevitable card room.

“Pen….” he said impatiently, waggling his hand.

Penelope paused as she was, arms curved above her head, pressing her breasts into prominence. She leaned forward just that extra inch.

“If you will muss my hair….” she said provocatively.

Freddy was no longer in the mood to play. “If you will behave like a wanton,” he countered, hauling her down from the carriage.

Penelope narrowed her amber eyes. “I’m not a wanton. I’m your wife. Darling.”

Freddy might be lazy, but he had a marksman’s eye. “And who’s responsible for that? Ah, Cleave!” Donning charm like a second skin, he waved to an acquaintance and carried on without pausing to introduce Penelope.

“Whose party is this?” hissed Penelope as she trotted along beside him.

“Begum Johnson—Lord Liverpool’s grandmother,” Freddy tossed in, as though that explained it all. “She’s a Calcutta institution, been here longer than anyone. It’s the first place one comes on arrival.”


“I think it means lady in the local lingo,” Freddy said vaguely. “Some sort of form of honorific. It’s what they call her, is all.”

With that elucidating explanation, Penelope found herself swept along in his wake into a vast white-walled mansion decorated with English furniture and English guests as Freddy scattered greetings here and there to acquaintances. The rooms were a colorful blur of brass-buttoned uniforms from every conceivable regiment, embroidered waistcoats straining across the bellies of prosperous merchant traders, large jewels decking the hands and headdresses of the middle-aged ladies in their rich silks. In one room, a set of couples formed rows while a sallow young lady in sweat-damped muslin and a cavalry officer cinched into a woolen jacket danced down the aisle, the familiar tune and figures of the country dance contrasting oddly with the fan sweeping slowly overhead. It did more to displace than dispel the muggy air. Through one archway, Penelope could see bowls of cool beverages sweating beads of water down the sides and iced cakes on porcelain platters. Through another, a room had been set out for cards, in small clusters of four to a table.

Freddy’s eyes lit up at the sight of that last. “You’ll excuse me, won’t you, old thing?” he said, without looking properly at her. “I have a few old scores to settle.”

Without waiting for a response, without introducing her to their hostess or fetching her a beverage or even making sure she had a chair to sit in, he was off. Penelope found herself standing alone in a drawing room that smelled faintly of foreign spices as a tropical monsoon battered against the windows and the chatter of the other guests shrilled against her ears like so many brightly colored parrots. Penelope gathered her pride around her like a mantle, trying to look as though she had always meant to be standing there on her own, as though she weren’t entirely without acquaintance or purpose in a strange drawing room in a strange city, abandoned by her husband in a lamentable breach of manners that he would no doubt justify to himself by the fact that he had never intended to shackle himself to her in the first place.

Unfortunately, the little scene had not gone unobserved. Penelope found herself facing the regard of a man in the bright red uniform of one of the native regiments, spangled with enough gold braid to suggest that he had attained a suitably impressive form of command. He was no longer in the first, or even the second, flush of youth. His hair must once have been as red as her own, but age had speckled it with white, making his face seem even ruddier in contrast. His face was seared by sunshine and laugh-lines and liberally spattered with a lifetime of freckles. Beneath wrinkled lids, his pale blue eyes were kindly.

Too kindly. It made Penelope want to shake him.

He strolled forward in an unhurried fashion. Just as Penelope was prepared to stare him down with her best Dowager Duchess of Dovedale glare, he said, “That’s always the way of it with these young men, isn’t it?”

He gave a sympathetic wag of his head, his matter-of-fact tone making it sound as though abandonment by one’s spouse was a commonplace, and nothing to be bothered about at all.

“No sooner do they arrive at a party than they’re straight off to the card tables. A blight on society, it is, and a lamentable offense to all the fairer sex.”

Penelope’s stiff posture relaxed. It wasn’t that she cared what people thought—but it was very unpleasant to be left standing by oneself.

“I imagine you are a notable card player yourself, sir,” she riposted.

“Not I,” he averred, pressing one hand to the general vicinity of his heart, but there was a twinkle in his sun-bleached blue eyes that told Penelope he must have been quite a rogue in his youth. It took one to know one, after all. “I have my share of vices, to be sure, but the cards are not among them. At least, not when there’s a lovely lady present.” He swept into a bow that would have done credit to the court of St. James. “Colonel William Reid, at your service, fair lady.”

“I am—” Penelope began, and stuck. She had been about to say Penelope Deveraux, only she wasn’t anymore. She was Lady Frederick Staines now, her identity subsumed within her husband’s. She wasn’t quite sure who Lady Frederick was, only that it wasn’t really her. “Pleased to make your acquaintance,” she substituted.

Mistaking her hesitation, the Colonel leaned away, holding up both hands in a gesture of contrition. “But not without a proper introduction, I wager. I should beg your pardon for being so bold as to impose myself upon you. After years in a mess, one forgets how to go about.”

“Nothing of the sort,” Penelope hastened to correct him. “It’s just that I’m recently married and I still forget which name I’m meant to call myself. My husband’s name doesn’t feel quite my own.”
A sentiment with which Freddy would heartily agree.

“Married?” The Colonel rearranged his features in a comical look of dismay. “That’s a pity. I meant to introduce you to my Alex.”

“Your Alex?”

“My boy,” the Colonel said proudly. Before Penelope could stop him, he raised his arm to hail a man who stood in conversation with an elderly lady in an exuberant silk turban, his back to them. “Alex! Alex, lad.”

Hearing his father’s exuberant hail, the man turned in a fluid movement that bespoke a swordsman’s grace. “Boy” was the last word Penelope would have used to refer to him; he was tall and lean, with the muscles of a man used to spending long hours in the saddle. Unlike his father, he wore civilian dress, but the indifferently tailored breeches and blue frock coat looked wrong on him, like a costume that didn’t quite fit. His face was as tan as the Colonel’s was ruddy. Had she not been told otherwise, Penelope would have taken him for an Indian, so dark were his hair and eyes. A thin scar showed white against the dark skin of his face, starting just to the left of one eyebrow and disappearing into his hair. He was a handsome man, but not in the way the Colonel must have been handsome once. Where one could picture the Colonel in a kilt and claymore, standing by a distant loch, his son looked as though he belonged in a white robe and Persian trousers with a falcon perched upon his wrist.

Tact had never been Penelope’s strong suit. “Are you quite sure you’re related?”

Far from being offended, the Colonel chuckled comfortably. “It takes many people that way on first meeting—sometimes after, too! My Maria, the boy’s mother, was of Welsh extraction. He gets his coloring from her. It’s been a mixed blessing for him out here,” said the Colonel.

Penelope looked at him quizzically.

“Life is seldom kind to the half-caste,” explained the Colonel, and some of the twinkle seemed to go out of him. “Or those perceived to be so. And especially not in India.”

“I’m half Irish,” Penelope volunteered, by way of solidarity.

She could picture her mother cringing as she said it. Respectably brunette herself, her mother had spent most of her life trying to pretend that she was as English as Wedgwood pottery. Penelope’s hair had been a sore point with her mother, who saw her secret shame revealed every time her daughter’s flaming head hove into view.

“A fine people, the Irish, and bonny fighters,” said the Colonel politely. From his name and his diction, he was Scots, although his accent veered off in odd ways on vowels in a way that was no longer quite any one particular accent at all. “Ah,” he said with pleasure, looking over her shoulder. “Here comes my Alex. He’ll be far more entertaining for you than an old man like me.”

“Nonsense,” said Penelope, smiling up at the darling old colonel. “I couldn’t have been better entertained.”

His Alex appeared just as the Colonel was tapping a finger against Penelope’s cheek. He looked from his father to her with a resigned expression that suggested that this was not the first time he had come upon his father chatting up an attractive young woman.

But all he said was, “Forgive me. I didn’t like to rush away from the Begum.” Unlike his father’s, his accent was unimpeachably English.

The Colonel laughed his rolling laugh. “She’s in her usual form, is she?”

“Invariably,” he said fondly, with a glance over his shoulder to where the Begum held court in her chair. Recalling himself to his social duties, he looked quizzically at his father.

His father knew exactly what was required. With all the bombast of a born raconteur, he began, “Alex, this charming young lady has been kind enough to sacrifice her own amusement to enliven an old man’s dull existence—”

“Scarcely old,” interjected Penelope, “and never dull.”

The Colonel beamed approval at her, clearly delighted to have found someone who played the game as he did. “See what I mean, Alex? An angel of goodness, she is. Now, my dear, you must allow me to introduce to you my son, Captain Alex Reid.”

“Captain Reid.” Penelope nodded to him, her eyes alight with laughter.

Captain Reid smiled ruefully in response, complicit in the joke on his father.

The Colonel waved a hand at Penelope. “And this is—”

“Lady Frederick Staines,” supplied Penelope.

The unaccustomed name felt clumsy on her tongue, but certainly not clumsy enough to warrant the reaction it garnered from the two Reids. Any glimmer of warmth disappeared from the Captain’s eyes, while the Colonel looked perturbed, as though he knew there were some bad odor about the name, but he couldn’t remember quite what.

There was only one conclusion to be drawn. The news had spread.

She ought to have expected it would. Just because Calcutta was half a world away didn’t mean that it took no interest in London gossip.

“What brings you to India, Lady Frederick?” the Captain asked. His studiedly casual tone brought a flush to Penelope’s cheeks.

“My husband is undertaking a commission from the government,” she said sharply. “He is to be envoy to the Court of Hyderabad.”

“And you, Lady Frederick?” he asked, in an uncomfortable echo of her own thoughts earlier that evening. Those dark eyes of his were too piercing by half. It was as though he were rooting about in her mind. Penelope didn’t like it one bit.

“Wither he goest, I goest,” said Penelope flippantly.

“I see,” said Captain Reid, but whatever he saw appeared to bring him no pleasure. After a brooding moment, he said abruptly, “Lady Frederick, do you know anything of Hyderabad?”

Penelope eyed him suspiciously, but before she could reply, a hand settled itself familiarly on her bare shoulder.

“There you are, old thing,” Freddy said, as though it were she who had walked away from him, rather than the other way around. “I wondered where you had got to.”

He had brought two friends with him, one in regimentals, the other in evening clothes. Penelope wondered which one of them carried Freddy’s vowels this time. From the smug expression on the face of the army man, Penelope suspected it was he. On the other hand, smugness might very well be his habitual expression. Penelope would expect nothing less of a man who wore three rings on one hand.

Penelope stepped out from under Freddy’s questing hand. “I’ve been very gallantly entertained by Colonel Reid,” she said, batting her lashes at the Colonel and achieving a very petty satisfaction at completely ignoring his son.

Freddy nodded lazily to the Colonel, the gesture amply conveying his complete lack of interest in any man who had served in the East India Company’s army rather than a proper royal regiment. Having dispatched the Colonel, Freddy took inventory of the Captain’s tanned face, his uninspired tailoring.

“And you are?” he demanded.

For a moment, Captain Reid forbore to answer. He simply stood there, studying Freddy with an expression of such clinical detachment that Penelope could feel Freddy beginning to shift from one foot to the other beside her.

After a very long moment, a grim smile sifted across Captain Reid’s face.

“I,” said Captain Reid, “am the man who has the honor of escorting you to Hyderabad.”


  1. Ella Dumitru on April 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Dear Mrs. Willig

    I have read your books with great joy and they kept me up all night when I could get my hands on each volume. Thank you, I find them wonderful as they also are historically rather accurate. As a ‘dabbler’ in history and passionate reader of “histories from history” myself, your books were a wonderful surprise. My proposal would be for something, something…”Peach Lily”?

  2. Christine Moon Angeles on April 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    The Redemption of the Violet Orchid

    Penelope needs to do a little redeeming, after being “ruined” and all. Orchids seem very apt for Penelope – a little bit girly but also a little bit sassy. I like violet because that color has a lot underneath it: red for sass that Penelope is full of, and blue for the loyalty to her friends.

  3. Candice Hammons on April 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    When I read this chapter, “jade” came to my mind, which is not a flower, but could be combinded with lavendar which means distrust. I also like narcissus. “Narcissus sylvestris” is daffodil in English and means deceitful hopes. “Narcissus poeticas,” (narcissus, white in English) means selfishness and also fits.

  4. Ivy on April 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    “The something, something, something Clematis.” Clematis are climbing vines with showy flowers and a sweet scent and they are native to India.

  5. Jessica S on April 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Darn it, I really like Christine’s title.

    I thought about Tiger Lily, for Penelope’s red hair, but I think that might be a weed. Or is it a wildflower? That would be appropriate.

  6. Courtney on April 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Oooh. An orchid would definitely be a good choice…darn my having been beaten to the punch!

    What about poppies? They are a decidedly saucy flower, suit Pen’s red hair, and some brief Googling shows that one variety (If you want to get botanical, genus “Meconopsis”) grows in England as well as the Indian subcontinent! Could it be more perfect?

  7. Chartreuse on April 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Christine’s suggestion seems good. Maybe the violet needs further consideration. Could Penelope’s hair be called auburn? Does that go with orchid?

  8. Michelle Kind on April 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    As I mentioned on Facebook, I believe Lotus is a good choice for Penelope. Perhaps “The Orientation/Enlightenment/Illumination of the Jade Lotus.” I don’t mean the color or stone Jade, but more of the hussy or even jaded girl Penelope used to be. I know she’ll become the heroine of the story hence the Indian Lotus.

    Orientation was selected because she still doesn’t seem to know who she is. She has trouble with her new name and feels her friends have already forgotten her. I don’t like the way Orientation rolls off the tongue, but I feel like she’s a little lost or confused. That’s also why I chose Enlightenment and Illumination. Perhaps foretelling the rest of the story.

    I had also thought of a Violet, but it seems too timid a flower for Penelope. Plus, it has something to do with the number seven and universal harmony, so perhaps the seventh book?? 🙂

  9. Rebecca C on April 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I also like the Redemption bit, although we really don’t know if Pen is really redeemed without reading the whole book. I was thinking of Tea. I know it’s not a flower, but it fits India and it’s a plant. I Googled Red Tea Leaf(Red for Pen’s hair) and came across a Cinnamon Red Tea. This is the description: “Strong red tea. Slightly fruity with cinnamon in flavor and a hint of dry tartness.” Seems to fit her character, fruitiness aside. Cinnamon would hint at her red hair. So maybe “The something of the Cinnamon Tea Leaf” or “The something of the Red Tea Leaf”…

  10. cathleen on April 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    dear lauren,

    at first i thought dahlia, but then it seemed too showy. how about zinnia, a flower that’s reminiscent of a daisy, but with more backbone. my mom once grew them and i especially remember a pale green zinnia which was quite lovely and would complement auburn locks. i think that would be my chioce for penelope. “the blooming of the green zinnia”. right on!
    and a 7th volume would be lovely, too…
    although it might be time to get that book deicated to your brother!
    -cathleen s

  11. cathleen on April 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    lauren, i’ll try sending this again.
    penelope reminds me of a zinnia, especially a pale green one that grew in my mom’s garden. it’s reminiscent of a daisy with backbone.
    “the bloomong of the green zinnia” would also go with her auburn locks. and call attention to her transformation into a woman of character.
    can’t wait for the book to come out!
    -cathleen s

  12. Nora on April 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    The Rescue of The White Water Lily.

    I really feel like Penelope is a lot more vulnerable than she would ever let onto. But she certainly leaves an impression, and folklore tells us that when the white water lily descended to this world, it changed everyone’s life for the better.

  13. Chelsey Holm on April 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I was looking into the meanings of different flowers when I came across the edelweiss which means ‘daring, noble courage,’ and the tuberose meaning ‘dangerous pleasures’. Tubrose reminded me of the Hellfire Club from Pink.

  14. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Is there a painting chosen for the cover yet? Because that might help, but then again the title might influence the choosing of the picture…

  15. Hannah on April 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    The Defiance of the Indian Gardenia

    I don’t see Penelope as one to sit back and let her life and marriage continue in the way it is. I have a feeling she’ll defy in some way. Gardenia is a native flower of India and its meaning refers to loving someone in secret which is a a theme in the other books.
    The first chapter was great, can’t wait until the book is released!!

  16. Janis on April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    How about “the something something something of the Foxtail Lily.” Foxtail lillies are native to India.
    Anyway, the first chapter was awesome!! I can’t wait for the rest!

  17. Rebecca W on April 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    How about the “Something, something, something, Snapdragon?”

    For me it just…fits. I’m not going by what the flower means or anything like that, but to me it just sounds right. When I hear “Snapdragon” I think “fiery” and “passionate,” which, to me, describes Penelope well. She’s the kind of woman who knows what she wants!

    Plus, a spy with the name of “the Snapdragon”? Pretty cool stuff. ;D

  18. Jessica on April 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    It’s too bad that “Something Something Something Alpinia” sounds a bit forced, because that’s a very sturdy, exotic flower that’s also called red ginger. And alpinias are gorgeous.

    I think hyacinth is also a good flower for Penelope. Lots of color, it gets attention, and it’s associated with rebirth.

  19. Philip Corbett on April 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I am sure that someone has come up with this already but what about ‘The Purple Peony. Or thinking of your Tory connections what about the ‘Purple Primrose’ – the Primrose was Disraeli’s favourite flower and the Primrose League a Tory Society.

  20. Brie Porter on April 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I did some research on flowers in India, and came across the Blood Lily, and the Paper Daisy. Also, a good villain: Belladonna. Good luck!! I can’t wait!

  21. Jennifer Reinhardt on April 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    the guise of the white lotus
    the cloak of the white lotus

    lotus is the national flower of india. and it’s a singular flower with water surrounding it. sort of represents penelope and freddy’s relationship. they aren’t completely connected.

  22. Katie on April 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I did some research into flowers and their meaning and also flowers of india. I found a flower that actually grows on a tree but I really like it for Penelope its called Flame of the Forest. I also thought Freesia witch means spirited or wisteria which means steadfast.

  23. Sarah White on April 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    How about “The Awakening of the White Lily”

    The first chapter sounds great! Looking forward to the rest! 🙂

  24. Samantha on April 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    so, I really like several of the above-someone mentioned one that is also called red ginger, and I really prefer “red ginger” to the given flower.I also like the idea of Poppy. Also, I don’t know how it flows off the tongue, but Pen reminds me of a Bird of Paradise, which is a tall, very striking flower, not frilly in anyway, very unique.

  25. Alex on April 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    The Insufferable Weed and his lovely Lavender (sorry I work in an herb shop, so the other flowers we have are violets, roses, and lavender (and herb and a flower)). Freddy is the weed and Penelope is the lavender though she resembles more of a fire cracker than a flower.

  26. Anna Hunter on April 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I CAN NOT WAIT FOR MORE!! How about this for a title?

    “The Mishaps of the Violet Verbena”

    Mishaps taken from “Jasmine” Penelope told her friends, she would write about regarding her time in India.

    Verbena, a British flower, fragrant with brilliant blooms and drought resistant. Seems to fit for Pen and her stay in India.

    Violet (deep lavender) to me discribes a deep passion, which I think also discribes Pen, her desire to live life on her own terms.

    Thanks Lauren for letting us share in the excitement!

  27. Kayse on April 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Hibiscus is what comes to mind for me… beautiful, exotic, and as red as Penelope’s hair. Snapdragons and poppies were my favorite suggestions from above 🙂

  28. Stephanie Stoddard on April 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Something Something Something Peruvian Lily

    native to India and very beautifyul

  29. Catherine on April 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    The Silent Blooming of the Scarlet Oleander

    I Like this because it goes back to the roots of “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation” where you have The {adjective} {noun} of the {colour} {flower} and as the the specific wording, I think Penelope is gonna do some secretive stuff in this book and as cheesy as it sounds, come into her own (ie, bloom) and I think Scarlet Oleander is a lovely phrase and very evocative

    The Passion of the Budding Pomegranate

    I like this because of the reference to Persephone, damned to marriage for something that at the time seemed so small, and also because as we know, Penelope’s a pretty passionate person.

    Some other words and flowers I was playing around with were; Moonflower Iris wild veil enigma blush. All again evocative words so I dont know if they’re helpful (The veiled blush of the wild iris? The enigmatic veil of the blushing moonflower?) anyway, good luck with finding a title, so many cool ideas!

  30. Arena on April 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Hey! I cant wait for more!

    There are only a few flowers that come to mind would be a calla lilly, elegant, yet alring. Amazon lily, graceful and stuning. Or, Laelia, a brightly colored, daity flower.

    Hope you like it! :]

  31. Stephanie Stoddard on April 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Persian Violet
    Leopard Flower
    Purple Morning Glory
    Peruvian Lily

    The color is up to you of course but i noticed blue has not been used
    Cobalt Azalea
    Sapphire Cassia
    Azure Balsam

  32. Morgan on April 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    What about the Damask Rose, commonly referred to simply as Damask? It is popular in India, and the stems are armed with curved prickles and stiff bristles – much like Penelope, beautiful but dangerous to touch!

  33. Stephanie Stoddard on April 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    I know i really need to stop but

    ok no more from me

  34. Sarah White on April 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm


    I adored the first chapter and an now feeling all restless at the thought of waiting to read the rest of the story!

    Personally I think the flower that most fits Penelope is the Hyacinth – I think the shadow of despondency that we can just see in this first chapter is reflected in the meaning of the flower.

    I think the general meaning of the Hyacinth (rashness/sorrow)combined with the meaning of the White Hyacinth (loveliness) could sum up Penelope rather well…

    That said I think I am probably jumping too far ahead with my imagination.


  35. Courtney P. on April 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    YEAH!!!! I am SoOoOooo thrilled that you let us be a part of this series you have that we love !!

    the rise of the blue poppy

    or something something blue poppy

    I like the whole Lotus thing…

    something like

    The Voyage of the Lotus

  36. Jess G. on April 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Blue Poppy –

    On the site I was looking at, it said the Blue Poppy is native to India and “they are very hard to grow; but if right conditions are provided they grow easily.”
    I thought that characteristic was very appropriate for Pen.
    If blue wasn’t the way you wanted to go, I’m sure any color and Poppy would do.

    I also like the sound of the “Musk Rose”. That’s described as the most widespread Indian flower, which may or may not be a good characteristic in this case…I’d have to know how the rest of the book when.

  37. Jacqueline on April 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    This first chapter is amazing. I cannot wait for Penelope’s story! Here is my idea, so far:
    The Affectation of the Tiger Lily
    (The orange tiger lilies grow in the wild, and remind me of Penelope, and she seems to be putting on a front to others)

  38. Katie on April 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    The Perils of the Puissant Patouli?:)
    The Unpleasantness at the Court of Hyderabad (a nod to Dorothy Sayers)
    The Indiscretion of the Scarlet Frangpani
    The Monsoon of the Ruby Lotus
    The Yell of Yellow-Eyed Ylang Ylang as she Smacks Fakhir Freddy Upside the Head (maybe too long?);)

    Love your books and love Eloise no matter how the audiobooks pronounce her name!

  39. Rachel M. on April 2, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Lauren,

    After some character assessment of Penelope and flower research I came up with:

    “The Discretion of the Violet Amaranth”

    I was looking for a flower that was quaint yet a bit mysterious and very resistant and strong. All traits that reminded me of Pen. Even though many think its just a weed (as Penelope was written off in society) it has a very unique type of beauty and practical uses (as Pen seems to be a very practical, tell it like it is girl). Amaranth also has the legend of being ‘ever lasting’ attached to it which reminded me of her prevailing spirit. Pen doesn’t seem one to give up very easily!

    As for ‘Discretion’, it seemed to me that Penelope would be soon be faced with some interesting choices and no matter what she decides to do, it will be of her own choosing. It could also refer to the choice of marriage that was swept away from her.

    I picked the color violet because it seemed like a very Penelope color. Strong and collected as well as elegant and loyal.

  40. AngelB on April 2, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I’m going to work on my answer (I’m not going to read anyone’s responses either).

    I just want to thank you for your impeccable timing. This afternoon at work I was just thinking it was time to re-read one of your books. Then, with my disasterous afternoon (Cutler trade is making me nauscious), I REALLY needed this distraction. So,


  41. Rachel on April 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Pen! Dear Darling Pen! I am so excited about her book! I think she is a Tiger Lily….or a hothouse Orchid! Any ordinary English wildflower would wilt in the heat of India…

  42. AngelB on April 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Okay…my entry is Scarlett Lotus. Sorry if it’s a duplicate.

  43. AngelB on April 2, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Sorry – Scarlett because of her hair and reputation. Lotus, because, while not native to Indian, my guess she embraces India throughout the book and makes it her home.

  44. Stephanie on April 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    What about Moonflower, it only blooms at night.
    Maybe Gardenia would be alright. I didn’t check to see if they have these in India but they wouldn’t necessarily have to have them since Penelope isn’t native to India herself.

    I was going to suggest thistle but it would be much more appropriate if they were in Scotland. 🙂

    I’m so excited about the next book.

  45. AngelB on April 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Okay – saw both scarlet and lotus were taken, so here’s my second guess..

    Wild Caper

  46. Jessica on April 2, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    brilliant; thanks so much!

    if only there was a way to work “transplant” into the title without it being hokey…

    What about:
    The Exploration of the Purple Hyacinth
    The Assignation of the Indigo Poppy

  47. Jessica on April 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    or maybe the iris?

  48. Mindy on April 2, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    What bout the Red Sorrel or the Scarlet sleeping Hibiscus or even Scarlet sage?

  49. Nicolette on April 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I think Peony has such a similar sound to Penelope as well as being one of the most beautiful flowers, that it seems to fit perfectly. Although, even though it is not a flower, I’ve always liked the name Violet Ivy. Personally, I think Ivy can survive in just about any environment it’s transplanted to. Even India if need be, and violet is just a pretty word. ‘Nuff said 🙂

  50. Andrea Combs on April 2, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I think the title should be “The Deliverance of the Dogwood.” Not the most romantic-sounding title, but the symbolic meaning of the Dogwood is “Am I indifferent to you?” I think this is appropriate because I have a feeling we might find out that maybe Penelope doesn’t regret getting Freddy onto that balcony after all? Also, I love alliteration.

  51. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 3, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Ok, here’s a few I thought up, hope someone likes/enjoys them:
    The Proud Mantle of a Crown of Thorns
    The Sweat-Damped Indian Caper
    The Heralding of the Trumpet Vine
    The Shame of Sweet Orange
    The Brazening Bindweed or the Bindweed Brazens it Out
    The Ruin of Cupid’s Bower
    The Forbearance of the English Daisy
    The Atonement of the Adder Mouthed Orchid

    Also did anyone else know there as a Gentian native to the Himalayas called the Urn-Shaped Gentian?

  52. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 3, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Also that’s Cupid’s Bower, it just wanted some funky symbols in there for some reason…

  53. Jennifer Klouse on April 3, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Hey Lauren!

    ADORE the new installment. I read it and nearly leapt from my seat with all the excitement, and not to mention the grace, of an 8 year old who’s heard the distant melody of the ice cream truck coming soon around the corner.

    I have a few suggestions, and I see a couple of my flower ideas have been listed, but I shall put in my oar all the same. I personally like

    The Ruse of the Blood Lily


    The Vengeance of the Wild Indigo


  54. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 3, 2009 at 12:54 am

    The Staining of the Tiger Lily

  55. Nikki on April 3, 2009 at 1:19 am

    My first thought was snapdragon. She’s fiesty and snappy like that.

  56. Jennifer Dahle on April 3, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I discovered a beautiful flower called ‘fuschia’. It is striking in appearance. According to one website, the flower’s essence helps emotional baggage to surface and frees the individual to express his true feelings. It is a transformational remedy. 🙂

  57. Jennifer Dahle on April 3, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Side note: I found a flowery quote by Antione de Saint Exupery that reminded me of Penelope. “If someone loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, ‘Somewhere my flower is there…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened…And you think that is not important!”
    Enjoyed the chapter! Can’t wait to read more.

  58. Suzanne on April 3, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Love, love, love, Chapter One! I have a feeling Penelope is going to surprise us. So she doesn’t remain titleless, my suggestions are:

    Flight of the Amber Queen (a type of Chrysanthemum)
    Journey of the English Ivy
    Liberty of the Lotus Blossom
    Spring of the Tiger Lily (in homage to Victoria Holt)

  59. Kristen on April 3, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I don’t have any suggestions, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing with us! Now I shall have to wait 8-9 months or so…

  60. Renee on April 3, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I would like to suggest the use of Iris or Gardenia in the title. Penelope has her sharper edges and Iris seems to have a little edge to it as well. Gardenia is a little more exotic of a flower, which would work with the location outside of England.

    Also, maybe you could evoke a little GWTW and use Scarlet (I think using two t’s would be a little obvious) in the title?

    Anyway, I’m excited about this one. I like Penelope because of her sharper edges, rather than in spite of. She seems like she’ll be an interesting character. And I like the foreign setting!

  61. Jennifer Dahle on April 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Hyacinths are also lovely, come in several colors, and are fragile in appearance and make up, yet hardy (as far as growth)and almost uncontrollable.

    Year of the Hyacinth.
    Fuschia Musings:A Tale of Misadventures (on the sub-continent?)
    The Secret Strength of the Hyancinth.

  62. Jennifer on April 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Hi Lauren! My sister and I met you last year at your book signing for the Seduction of the Crimson Rose in San Mateo, CA and I’m so glad to hear that you are writing a new book!!!! I don’t know if you still remember my suggestion from back then but I still stand by my idea of the title…

    The Illusion of the White Lotus.

    In Vietnamese culture the lotus is considered a symbol of purity since it comes up from the mud and muck and yet remains untainted. I think it resembles Penelope in some ways. The way she was “ruined” representing the mud and muck and yet she is still pure when she comes out of it because essentially, although she may act like she doesn’t care, she still wants the very basic and normal things in a marriage such as attention, love, and care from her husband. The “illusion” part could have something to do with how she thought going off to India and being married was going to be a good change of pace in her life but it ends up being nothing like she expected.

    Good luck on your writing!

  63. Kate on April 3, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    How about a camellia? I think it perfectly represents both India and England, since it is such a popular tea in both countries.
    the … of the red camellia
    ruby camellia
    copper camellia
    scarlet camellia
    you get the picture.

  64. Sam on April 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I really like something with “violet” in it, like “violet orchid” or “violet lily.” Some people said “tiger lily” which might be good too. It should have something to do with India since that’s where she ended up at the end of Pink V. Looks like “Blue Poppy” or something with “lotus” might fit as those are native to India.

    Good luck Lauren!

  65. Joanna on April 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I personally like azaleas. They’re beautiful and vibrant just like Penelope. How about this:
    The Removal of the Red Azalea (since she was married and consequently sent to India with her new husband)

  66. Stephanie Stoddard on April 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Plumeria its a tropical flower but its got the most beautiful sent. and its hard to grow anywhere else. it needs a lot of care and the right kind of soil. But once it blooms it is so pretty. Simple but lovely.

  67. Jenna Harju on April 3, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    i like what people are saying about using Orchid…perhaps “Something something of the Indigo Orchid”? Lotus is good too, but white indicates purity and penelope is not (sorry, pen). found a flower that i’ve never heard of but the name (and description) seems to fit penelope’s spirit – Blazing Star. perhaps “The Fire of the Blazing Star” or “The Passion of the Blazing Star” or “The Inspiration of the Blazing Star”?

  68. Ella Achen on April 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I was going to suggest a peony, I know they’re kind of big, and sometimes boistrous, but I saw one once of such a vivid and lustrous fusha/ magenta that as I read this chapter I thought of it instantly. I also thought that peonies sometimes look like lotus flowers (a little) and lotus flowers are popular in India, right?

    (someone also suggested Tiger Lily, those are lovely too)

  69. Ella Achen on April 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Or, what about an actual Lotus? Just a thought after mentioning it in refrence to the peony.

  70. Michelle Kind on April 3, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Also, from yesterday’s Facebook comment, here is the official entry for “The Redemption/Salvation of the Hidden Azalea/Poppy.” 🙂

  71. Gillian McKay on April 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I Think that “A PRIMROSE IN INDIA” would be a good Title.

  72. Susan on April 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    The Redemption of the Ginger Lily

    The Ruse of the Ginger Orchid

    (they could be interchanged, of course)
    There are some great suggestions out there. Good luck narrowing them down.
    Loved Chapter 1

  73. Lauren on April 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    You are all so awesome.

    SO awesome.

    (My editor thinks so, too!).

    I am more grateful than I can say for flowers, titles, and floral lore you’ve been so generously providing. And, Katie, I’m still laughing over “The Yell of Yellow-Eyed Ylang Ylang as she Smacks Fakhir Freddy Upside the Head”. If only there were more room on the spine of a book!

    With so much to choose from, my editor and I are playing around with some of the ideas you’ve suggested. But since we’re not making any major title decisions fast, if you have more flower/title inspirations over the weekend, keep ’em coming!

  74. Stephanie Stoddard on April 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Lilac is another beautiful flower but its more of a bush flower. So its not the normal but its beautiful

  75. Hannah Collins on April 3, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    This is the best title that my mind can come up with

    The Intrigue of the Aquilegia

  76. Stephanie Stoddard on April 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    The Decision of the Azure Azaela
    The Perception of the Lavender Plumeria
    The Trials of the Persian Violet
    The Tribulations of the Violet Impatients
    The Travels of the Ginger Begonia
    The Predominance of the Morning Glory
    The Indiscretion of the Golden Foxglove
    The Hidden Dream of the Peruvian Lily
    The Trooping of the Leopard Flower _joke
    The Harboring of the Scarlett Iris
    The Concealment of the Willow Lily
    The Defense of the Scarlet Snowdrop

    Just some fun ideas and the first parts are interchangeable to your liking. I know you mostly want flower names not really titles.

  77. Stephanie Stoddard on April 3, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    The retaliation of the Day lily

  78. Hannah on April 3, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    how about
    The Wit of an Amber Oleander

  79. Ikhlas Hussain on April 3, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    The Passion of the Peony
    The Ballad of the Belladonna
    The Redemption of the Dahlia
    The Virtue of the Iris
    The Challenge of the Orange Mock
    The Escape of the Spiderflower
    The Longing of the Lotus

    Any of the flowers are ideas, I know you didn’t ask for titles!

  80. Ikhlas Hussain on April 3, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    The Redemption of the Ivy

  81. Genny Davis on April 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I think a tropical flower, one that stands out like a bird a paradise, or something like that. Penn is a girl who stands out. I don’t know if you could use it in a title, but it is bright and not easily concealed. Also like the snap dragon idea.

  82. Ikhlas Hussain on April 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    The Flames of the Ambrosia

  83. Ikhlas Hussain on April 3, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    The Flames of the Ambrosia
    The Compromise of the Azalea
    The Concealment of the Begonia
    The Redemption of the Shooting Star
    The Passion of the Primrose

  84. Kevin Verdon on April 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    How about The Revenge of the Helleborine, its Irish and Red. Of course we don’t know yet if there is anything to revenge yet or not..:-)


  85. Claire on April 3, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    my first thought was: “Something Something Something Hyacinth”. just what popped into my head first… hyacinth seemed to work for Penelope

  86. Jennifer Dahle on April 3, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Amaryllis, otherwise known as the belladonna lily, is striking

  87. Stephanie on April 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I googled Penelope flower and it came up with a hybrid musk rose called a penelope. I know there is already a rose title but I thought it was kind of neat. 🙂
    What about crocus?

  88. Lisa on April 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for sharing the first chapter. My impression of Pen is that she has strong opinions and a lot of spirit. Not a wall flower, then. Since a rose has already been done, is Pen a lily? Perhaps a large, waxy Stargazer Lily? Or, is she as a sly as a fox with her auburn hair? Would she like to be a “Foxtail Lily?” This discussion raises a question for me – what type of flower is Lauren Willig?
    Thank you, Lisa

  89. Elizabeth on April 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Lots of people have mentioned the lotus, which was my pick before reading any of the comments. I guess great minds really do think alike! According to one website, the blue lotus is particularly popular in India, thus: The Transformation of the Blue (or Indigo)Lotus.

  90. jennifer on April 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    How about “The travels of the Scarlet Columbine”?

    I like scarlet for Pen because that’s pretty much how she has been “painted” by the ton. And columbines are pretty, and they look delicate, but they seem to be pretty resilient (at least mine survive my dogs running over them).

  91. Stephanie Stoddard on April 3, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Atonement of the Indigo Orchid

  92. Gina on April 3, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Plains Coreopsis?
    Haha. Kidding.
    I was thinking perhaps the Amaryllis, which may have been said already. The Indian Blanket, also known as the Fire Wheel is very vibrant, but its native here in Houston, TX – not in India. Oops.
    I think my favorite ideas of mine would be:
    Both are vibrant and tough, like Penelope seems to me.
    Happy writing!
    Gina 🙂

  93. Julie on April 3, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    i have no idea if anyone has already said any of these but what about THE REDEMPTION OF THE RUDBECKIA it means indian summer which i thought fits, or The CONQUEST OF THE CROWN OF THORNS, the crown of thorns is a flower that grows in madagascar. Or THE PERILS OF THE PASQUE. or something along those lines.

  94. Julie on April 3, 2009 at 10:39 pm


  95. Angie and Marissa on April 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    The Plight of the Painted Posy
    The Indecency of the Indigo Iris
    The Disdain of the Dark Dahlia
    The Rebirth of the Ruined Rhododendron
    The Bastion of the Blood-Red Lotus
    The Veil of the Vibrant Violet
    the Flight of the Flouncy Flora
    The Assignation of the Midnight Aster

    Just a few thoughts off the top of our heads….some are a bit more applicable than others 😉

    Can’t WAIT to read the whole thing!!!

  96. Melinda Smith on April 3, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    “Penelope could picture him pinned up in a naturalist’s cupboard, a perfect example of homus aristocraticus.”

    Lauren, this is a fabulous image but there’s no such Latin word as “homus”–it should be “homo” (man)– homo sapiens, homo erectus, homo aristocraticus.

    Thank you for the sneak peek into your next book! Can’t wait for it to come out! (I like “snapdragon” myself. . .)

  97. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Yeah, Crown of Thorns is also native to India, I tried to make sure of that with all my plant choices.

  98. Hannah on April 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I think something to do with a poppy would be very fitting for Penelope.

  99. Shannon on April 4, 2009 at 12:29 am

    My suggestion would be the wild tulip. They are native to the Himalayan region of India, but show up in English gardens to. Plus, I like the idea of drawing a comparison between a bulb coming to life and the changes that are coming for Penelope (rebirth, awakening, blooming…) So…… Something something Scarlett Tulip? Or maybe keep Wild Tulip? Whatever the title, I can’t wait to read it!

  100. Laura on April 4, 2009 at 12:38 am

    The Roving of the Lilac Lotus
    The Indiscretion of the something Iris
    The Dalliance of the something Dandelion
    The something of the Amorous Amaranth
    The Redemption of the Righteous Rhododendron
    The Triumph of the Tempestuous Something
    The Restoration of the something Shamrock

    (Some other flowers that could work but I couldn’t come up with titles)

    (my source)


  101. Laura on April 4, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Indigo Iris works!
    Adventures of Amorous Amaranth.
    and Wronged Shamrock may work.

  102. AngelB on April 4, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Just thought of another one….Red Clover.

    red – Pen’s hair and reputation
    Clover = Irish flower transplanted to other countries

    The flower is now for fixing things…whether is fixing soil for crops, medicinally for sores, indigestion, or Pen’s case crappy marriages, husband’s career, or her own reputation.

  103. Stephanie Stoddard on April 4, 2009 at 1:40 am
  104. Dana Berry on April 4, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Hi Lauren,
    From reading your books and the first chapter, I believe these might work;

    The something of The Sword Lily

    The sword lily is also the Gladiolus and signifies infatuation, Penelope tends to make men act that way.

    The Journey of The Violet Poppy

    Poppy’s are underrated but so pretty and durable I love them and think that it fits Penelope just right.

  105. Winona Prette on April 4, 2009 at 4:31 am

    My suggestion becasue it takes place in an exotic location would be:
    The Unveiling of the Bird of Paradise
    The Concealment of the Red Lily
    Great books, can’t wait for the next story.

  106. Nikki M on April 4, 2009 at 7:06 am

    I’m terrible at this, but I like idea of a Poppy for Pen. It just seems to fit and was the first flower I thought of after reading the first chapter.

    I LOVED it by the way.
    I can’t believe we have to wait so long :[ haha

  107. Linda on April 4, 2009 at 8:45 am

    The Aspersion of the Ruby Larkspur

    Aspersion–double meaning. It could mean damaging criticism (which Pen definitely has had) and it is associated with baptism or “purifying experience”. This could imply that Pen’s “sins” have been put behind her.

    Ruby–in reference to her hair and I think of Indian turbans being set with rubies.

    Larkspur—Pen certainly has loved her “larks”. I read somewhere that the Larkspur is associated with fickleness. Freddie appears to be fickle —Pen could be mistaken as fickle because of her association with him.

    I also thought of Foxglove because it thrives in acid soil and the Snowdrop because it is the first flower that dares to bloom under harsh conditions. I am not sure that these flowers sound good in the tile, though. However, you really could put any flower name in place of Larkspur.

    Another suggestion is:
    The Prevarication of the Crown Daisy

    Prevacation—an incorrect impression

    Crown Daisy—actually a flower ! Crown in reference to Freddie being a special envoy to the Court of Hyderabad. Daisy a wild flower—Pen has not led a tame life!

  108. Linda on April 4, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Okay–I am not sure what I did to cause the gibberish in places above. I guess it is time for another cup of coffee this morning.

    Please substitute:

    In Aspersion–substitute Pen’s discretions.
    Larkspur–Pen has loved her “larks”
    Crown Daisy–substitute Prevarication, Crown Daisy and flower.

    Sorry guys….

  109. Linda on April 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    LOL…had that cup of coffee.
    How about a Cobra Lily or Nightshade for a villian!

  110. Michelle on April 4, 2009 at 11:53 am

    “The Guile of the Begonia”

  111. Dana Berry on April 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    I found a picture of a sword lily and I think it works PERFECT for Penelope.

    I like;

    The Journey of The Violet Sword Lily

  112. Katie on April 4, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Glad I made you laugh with the Ylang Ylang title.

    Came up with some more flowers-

    Henna (there is a ceremony in several eastern religions called Night of the Henna, lots of body painting v sexy)


    Rue- flower, spice, medicine, and a character in a cool YA book called the Hunger Games

    Saffron- comes in gold and scarlet colors from a beautiful purple flower


    Also in medieval times there was a “Holy Order of the Palm and Alligator”, a “Sacred Society of the Bee and Broom Flower”, “the Slaves of Virtue” and “the Knights of the Dog and Cock”.

    The last two might be good for any S&M book you might be thinking to write;)
    Hope I made you laugh again!

  113. Stephanie Stoddard on April 4, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    The Decisions of the Sunrise Plumeria

  114. Rosie O. on April 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Can’t wait to read the rest of this book. When I think spy, I thing Dandelion. A brilliant yellow flower by no means pure or delicate (kind of like Penelope.) Dandelions are pretty weeds and most annoying, Even when you have done all you can to get rid of them, they show up again….

    “The Intrusion of the Dandelion”
    “The Persistance of the Dandelion”
    “The Tenacity of the Dandelion”
    “The Annoying Dandelion”…

    Good Luck Lauren – I saw some good ideas offered…Rosie

  115. Lisa on April 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    The Dilemma of the Tiger Lily
    The Redemption of the Honeysuckle Rose
    The Passion of the Wild Lily
    The Adventures of the Red Lily
    The Misadventures of the Peach Lily
    The Adventure of the Sapphire Orchid
    The Spicy Adventure of the Tea Rose
    The Travels of the Begiling Lily
    The Daring Adventures of the Ruined Lily
    The Marriage of the Passion Flower
    The Affair of the Peach Lily

  116. Cait on April 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    I don’t know if anyone already put this out there but I like the
    These are some of the things writen about the FIRE LILY

    It is a most unusual and exotic flower, it is a vision to behold, extremely prominant and extends gracefully, it’s vivid coloring makes one gasp at first encounter and then makes you want one, sever poisoning to humans. It is also native to India

  117. Liviania on April 4, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Coriander – this one might sound odd, but it means lust and is used in Indian cooking
    Blue Hyacinth – means constancy and rashness, has a nice ring to it
    Day Lily – coquetry (how she caught her husband!) and it definitely seems like people think a lily fits Penelope

    Day Lily is my favorite for the title.

  118. Stephanie Stoddard on April 5, 2009 at 12:24 am

    The promenade of the Scarlett Daphney
    —————————– Ginger

  119. Brenda on April 5, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I like Stargazer lily.

    Butterfly bush.

    for a herb, Rosemary works well. It has a sturdy staff, with purple flowers.

    Loved the first chapter.

  120. Sara on April 5, 2009 at 2:28 am

    I thinks she’s a sunflower. Its bright and garners a lot of attention. But it’s also a symbol for pride/haughtiness, which also fits Penelope very well.

  121. Mary Veloz on April 5, 2009 at 3:03 am

    I loved the first chapter, and can’t wait for the book.
    What about
    -“Reclaiming the Scarlet Avens”-because the orange red color of the flower to go with Pen’s fiery hair

    -“Restoration of the Bare Caper”-because the flower is native to India and the red coloring. Also your lead female characters usually discover themselves throughout the book and Pen definitely needs some restoration to herself and reputation. I just thought it was fitting.

  122. Shana on April 5, 2009 at 9:57 am

    How about a Lotus flower? Also known as the Water Lilly, this flower grows from the mud at the bottom of ponds and streams, emerging above the water to bloom. The Lotus flower grows in India and is a symbol of creation and rebirth.

    Loved the 1st chapter, as well as all the previous novels. I can´t wait to read the book in its entirety.

  123. Melissa Webb on April 5, 2009 at 11:27 am

    My suggestion would be “The Adventures of the Midnight Wisteria.” Love your books and good luck.

  124. Elissa on April 5, 2009 at 11:36 am

    The Redemption of the Russet Poppy
    The Redemption of the Indian Poppy
    The Painting of the English Lily

  125. AngelB on April 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Lauren: I do have a question on all of this…why a flower for Pen?

    She’s not one of the spies. All of the other flowers in the title referred to the spies. Letty’s book didn’t have a flower in the title, so why should Pen’s if you want the title to be about her instead of the spy?

    I was just thinking about consistency and the fact the Pen just doesn’t come across as a flower to me at all.

    Thanks for listening…. 🙂

  126. Stephanie Stoddard on April 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    whatever flower you chose i hope it doesn’t sound like something else i noted a few up above that sounded like tv shows or movies.. White Orlander.. wisteria.. are just two of them. make sure they have a good color in front to make them not refer to the movies.

  127. kiley on April 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    What about Restoring of the Bleeding Heart? I think they kind of describe Penelope at this moment. She has been taken away from her home to live with a man who she married not for love, but out of duty.

  128. Katelin on April 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I also really like the crocus. I’m not sure if anyone has said that yet.

  129. kiley on April 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I meant to say “Restoration of the Bleeding Heart”

  130. Claire on April 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    how about the tiger flower: “Something Something Something Something Tiger Flower”

    heres a picture:

  131. Ashley Hatcher on April 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm


    Love your books. I tried to read all the comments but not sure if these are new flower names or not, so here are my suggestion:

    • Orange Mock: Deceit
    • Rhosodendron: Danger; Caution.


    Legend has it that the amaryllis – the stunning red flower we’ve come to associate with the holidays – began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules’ strength and Apollo’s beauty, but her affections were unrequited. Hoping that she could win him over by bestowing upon him the thing he desired most – a flower so unique it had never existed in the world before – Amaryllis sought advice from the oracle of Delphi.

    Following his instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden’s white and appeared at Alteo’s door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis’s heart. With this romantic – albeit tragic – tale as its beginning, it’s not surprising that today the amaryllis has come to symbolize pride, determination and radiant beauty.

    This is the description from From the first chapter I felt something like a storm brewing!

    so could be: The Something and The Stormy Amaryllis


  132. Amy on April 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Ms. Willig,
    With the help of my ten year old neice, we came up with three possible titles for Pink VI
    -The Awakening of the Morning Glory-
    -The Unveiling of the English Daisy-
    -The Journey of the English Daisy-
    Good Luck and thank you

  133. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 5, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Yeah Angel I agree with you, I was thinking you could do something different and interesting, like Emerald Ring, there’s that one line in the first chapter, “Brightly Colored Parrots”.

    Other things that came to my mind was the the fact that Pen is really feeling unworthy/unwanted and felt shame and the need for atonement. She has a very proud mantle.

  134. Stephanie Stoddard on April 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    i was thinking like the emerald ring could be possible. i don’t know what is in the book if there is an object like that .. the other idea is

    you can still use marigold just sneaky like.. your books are all about spies.. so make it like
    the marryment of the golden something.. Marigold.. see.

    or the something something gold mary flower.. something sneaky like that. it would be way fun for the readers when they make the link from the title to the marigold. I just am not sure what words you would use.. marryment sounds way to happy for Penelope’s situation.. but grab a dictionary and see if there is anything that would work. I used the golden Foxglove above and thought that kinda fit in the name..

    So definitely consider using the golden something.. keeps your spy in the title with out being obvious. It would be sad to leave it out after all the other novels.

  135. Tara on April 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I was thinking Pen is like a hibiscus—a showy flower that has a lot of strength, but still needs to be treated gently for it to fully grow (what woman doesn’t??) And it can grow in England or India…

    How about The Cultivation of the Golden Hibiscus

    Also, I actually do think that Pen could actually be a Marigold (although that throws the spy name out the picture—maybe the spy could be a lotus? More under the surface of the water and all that).

  136. Brianna on April 5, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    going along with emerald ring but about about something more focused on pen? I like the idea of a ruby. Then again, that could be a bad idea…

  137. Jacqueline Baker on April 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    How about

    The Liberation of the Ruby Impatiens?

  138. Laura Elwell on April 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Lauren-you are a brilliant writer; I cannot wait until this book arrives! I didn’t see rules as to whether or not multiple ideas can be submitted, but I have four (I hope that’s alright!).

    1.The Reclamation of the Scarlet Dahlia
    2.The Restoration of the Jewel Orchid
    3.The Absolution of the Blushing Oleander
    4.The Redemption of the Scarlet Magnolia

  139. Jenna on April 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I’m going to suggest a waterlily… it only blooms at night, so that reminds me of a very adventurous Pen. I also really like verbena, (it comes in many different colors) but it was already mentioned above.
    Good luck, Lauren!

  140. Tisha on April 5, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I can not wait for this book to be released! I guess I’d better come up with a good name so I can get an early copy ;~) Drum roll……

    “The Redemption of the Persecuted Heather”

    Redemption because Pen has been incorrectly slighted by Freddy and they both need to be redeemed in one another’s eyes. But this suggestion isn’t just for Pen…the Colonel and his son have taken quite a prominent role in this book from the get go and I get the impression one or both will be unjustly accused.

    I don’t know that ‘Persecuted’ is the right word, but Freddy appears to be doing just that to Pen for an act of which he is equal in blame.

    Heather popped into my head as soon as it was mentioned that Colonel William Reid is Scottish and Pen mentioned her Irish roots. It is a strong and resilient plant while retaining its incredible beautiful.

    But I must say that in reading all the comments above Angie and Marissa’s suggestion on April 3rd of “The Assignation of the Midnight Aster” really caught my eye.

    I also noticed the multiple suggestions for the Lotus flower, but don’t know that I agree with that one. It may be a flower of India, but Pen is not.

    Whatever the title, the book will be excellent (as evidenced in the first chapter).

    Thanks for the sneak peek!

  141. Melody Shimada on April 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    If not already suggested, I put forward the delphinium. Your books provide immense pleasure – thanks!

  142. Brianna winter on April 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    i love the first chapter i cant wait for the book! ha write fast. my idea is
    The Intrigue of The Wanton Water lily

    hope you like it!

  143. Stephanie Stoddard on April 5, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Cherry Blossom?

    i love fruit tree flowers too
    Apple Blossom?

    i still think you should work marigold in there somehow..

    the Marauder of the gold cherry
    the maritime travels of the gold azaela
    The marriage of the Gold Lotus/lily
    The blank of the golden Mask Flower

    oh i dont know something like that

  144. Claire on April 5, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I like the sound of violet something or other. And lily and orchid are my favorites that I’ve read.

  145. Claire on April 5, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Perhaps even lavender. That could go with more flowers I think.

  146. Devon Hernandez on April 6, 2009 at 12:19 am

    I love the first chapter! I had a funny feeling after reading Night Jasmine that we would get Pen’s story next 🙂

    So…my first suggestion would be (these aren’t in particular order):

    *The Sins of the Flush Camellia*
    Here’s my reasoning: Camellia is a popular flower in both England and in Asia. Camellia sinensis is the tea plant…obvious connection there to India. “Flush” is both a synonym for “pink” as most camellias are a shade of pink, and also ties in the with the “tea” thing (i.e. first flush). Sins…well, Penelope is certainly no virtuous maiden!

    I came upon this when searching a site for camellia symbolism:

    In the eyes of the Chinese, the petals reflect the spirit of a lady, and the holder of the petals (the calyx) represents the young man entrusted by the lady as her protector….In many parts of China, the camellia is considered as the flower for young sons and daughters (I thought the symbolism for “young sons” appropriate, as Freddy is a “younger son).

    The flower meanings I come up with for Camellia seem to indicate gratitude, longing, and adoration.

    My second choice would be:

    *The Intrigue of the Copper Iris*

    I also see Pen as an iris because irises are such stately, proud, showy flowers, like her. Apparently, red-hued irises are very uncommon, and a true red hybrid has been next to impossible to cultivate (the Medici family was the first to research/attempt this). The Copper Iris isn’t a true red, but I thought it appropriate for Pen’s red head! The flower meaning for iris is, among others, “valor” and “passion.”

    I also saw on Wikipedia that irises are used to portray “silent grief.” That seemed to strike a chord with me in relation to Penelope.

  147. Pamela Harris on April 6, 2009 at 12:51 am

    This chapter took me back to the tropics of my childhood in Miami, and my favorite flower which bloomed only once a year. It is the flaming flower of the Royal Poinciana. In 1950’s Miami there were festivals and beauty queens and parades, all in tribute to this exotic floral beauty. As always, I am waiting impatiently for the next book. Like Mary Alsworthy, Penelope proves that bad girls are a lot of fun, too. Let us give her story an appropriately arresting name.

  148. Kacey R. on April 6, 2009 at 1:34 am


    First of all, I absolutely LOVE your series!!! I was reading up on meanings, and I came across Gardenia, which means, “I love you in secret” and can be native to tropical climes such as India. If the relationship between Captain Reid and Pen is going in the direction I think, this might be appropriate, or in the case of Freddy, it could apply as well (if Freddy actually changes). Anyway, here are my proposed titles:

    The Resilience of the Fiery Gardenia
    The Enchantment of the Lady’s Slipper
    The Enlightenment of the Evening Laurel


  149. Katie oxley on April 6, 2009 at 2:13 am

    If not for Penelope, then for another one, because this flower is just too amazingly cool! It’s called a Torch Ginger. Instantly I thought of “The Trials of the Torch Ginger”. If the website I’m posting along with this doesn’t work, then you have to google them. They’re from Hawaii though, not India. :/ Still, figured I should mention them for Penelope.

  150. Christina Otayco on April 6, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Thanks for posting the first chapter. Amaranth came to mind while drifting off to sleep (wasn’t even sure it was a flower)–just liked the name. There is both an ornamental and weed variety, and a few native species to India. Apparently it means love-lies-bleeding–neither here nor there–for I can’t see Penelope bleeding for love (yet). But the colors fit her. There is a type called the “false amaranth.” Perhaps “something, something, false, Amaranth?”

  151. Christina Otayco on April 6, 2009 at 5:35 am

    I see amaranth was already taken. I guess I’m a bit late in the game, but here are some other suggestions (probably also already taken) 🙂

    mimosa–like the way it sounds
    tamarind–I think of the sweet, tanginess that is the dichotomy of Penelope.
    English Daisy (seen as a weed in India–common–how Freddy sees her…etc)
    Pomegranate (Not just a fruit–but also a flower!)
    Sleeping Hibiscus
    Verbena (this one was definitely taken–the flower is gorgeous)

  152. Bonny on April 6, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I couldn’t read through all the response so I’m sorry if I took someone’s… I did love someone’s choice above for the word jade in reference to Penelope as she is “a ruined woman” at the start of this book. Added to the fact that she is in India and looks like there will be several intriguing men in her life I came up with…

    The Adventures of the Indian Jade or The Conquests of the Indian Jade

    I really liked the Misadventures of the Indian Jade but misadventure means bad fortune and though it starts off that way I didn’t think it would apply to the novel in its entirety.

    Good Luck and can’t wait for Book VI!

  153. Georgia on April 6, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Hi Lauren,

    How wonderful to be able to have a preview of the next book… Looking
    forward to the duplicitous situation this installment will likely bring.

    As for a title, I am dreadful at naming things. But I see Penn as more of a mineral type, flowers just don’t have the kind of solid feeling/staying power she seems to require.
    Somewhere in the posted comments someone mentioned a ruby — which is very India– fiery ruby comes to mind… Perhaps a nod to the location (India, Hyderabad, or Andar Praddesh? ) woould enrich the title as well…
    Good luck on the naming endeavor.
    I am looking forward to reading the book.

  154. Heather on April 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    The banishment of the Scarlet Dahlia

  155. Erin on April 6, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I’m going to go with FOXGLOVE. Often grown for color, it is also the source of digitalis, a highly poisonous medicinal drug.

    I think Penelope likes to be flashy, but would love to hide a deep dark secret!

  156. Adrianne on April 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Wild Violets are a beautiful and delicate little flower but they are hearty, impossible to kill and will take over your whole yard if you let them. You can mow them down, tromp on them, rip them out by the roots but the fiesty little things just keep coming back, strong and lovely as ever. A flower that won’t wilt when faced with a challenge. Very Penelope if you ask me. I suggest “The Passionate Trials of the Wild Violet”

  157. Irina on April 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Tiger Lilly has the right ring to me

    Poppy as a back-up

  158. Tisha on April 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    After more thought last night and lying in bed staring at the five books piled on my bedside table (all your’s) I came to the realization that I hadn’t continued with your naming convention…The *action* of the *color name* *flower name*. So I wish to alter my previous suggestion of “The Redemption of the Persecuted Heather” to “The Redemption of the Scarlet Heather”.

  159. Tammy on April 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I must say that I now CAN’T wait for the new book!!

    I have no amazing ideas for a title, but my favorite of the above is The Guise of the White Lotus. Very interesting and could lead a million different ways. Of course, you’ve already written the book… but still leaves a lot to be found by the reader through the pages regardless. 🙂

  160. Rachel on April 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I loved it. I think a fun title would be The Irritation of the Tiger Lily

  161. Kari on April 7, 2009 at 7:07 am

    What a lovely little community there is here-I was so excited to find it. I feel a little late to the game, as I have only just discovered Pink Carnation books this year.
    The ‘blankity-blank’ of the Scarlett Begonia

  162. Amy M. on April 7, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Great ideas everyone!

    I was thinking “the Vengence of the White Oleander”, but then I saw someone suggested “amber Oleander”, and I liked that too. White may be too pure for a compromised woman.

    I also liked “the reprisal of the Bell of Ireland”. Of course, the flower is acutally “bells of ireland”, but since she is half Irish, and seems proud of that fact, I thought it was fitting. But the title should definately allude to revenge or something like that, because you can totally tell she’s going to stick it to Lord Freddy for his poor husbandship.

  163. Amy Cooper on April 7, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Whispers heard by the Amber Tulip.
    Without knowing what the character will be facing but I thought she would be hearing secrets etc. I especially like Amber or Violet for Pen, depending on her mood.

  164. Brittany fischer on April 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm


  165. Robyn on April 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I read the first chapter for Penelope’s book and loved it, and the feelings I got from it were like she is going to try and redeem herself of her ruined status. So here is my suggestion:

    The Redemption of the Musk Rose.

    I chose the Musk Rose because it is a wild rose that grows in India, and once the wild rose withers away, its place it taken over by a red rounded fruit known as a rose-hip. Also, this flower is used in India to convey different types of feelings which I thought from the above reading Penelope or Lady Frederick Staines.

    Thanks for the read!!!!

  166. Robyn on April 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Might like of use. I didn’t finish my last sentence. I guess that is what I get because I am doing this at work.

    Don’t tell anyone.

  167. AngelB on April 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Just playing around (shhh- I’m at work) and found that a nickname for the african violet is “irish flirt”.

    Now, if Pen isn’t an Irish flirt….

  168. Hannah on April 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    how about
    The Audacity of the Golden Iris

  169. Stacy on April 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    What about Peony?

  170. Kit on April 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    How about the “Lantana” it is a fairly elegant name, and after some brief research, I’ve discovered that naturally grown, they are hard to control, but when they are cultivated, they are very sturdy…. the are also very striking flowers.

  171. Stephanie Stoddard on April 7, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Daffodil i am sure its been suggested but it means Deceitful Hopes..
    Enchanter’s Nightshade
    Narcissus – Pen did not seem to concerned with anyone but herself when she was compromised.

  172. Ivy on April 8, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I like “Ivy” (maybe I’m partial :)) or Primrose or Iris!

    Transgression of the Ivy
    Unfolding of the Primrose
    Mystique of the Shrouded Iris

    love your books! please keep writing, and I’m sure you’ll find a great title =)

  173. Ivy on April 8, 2009 at 12:03 am

    oh, Mystique of the Veiled Iris might be nice too =)

  174. cheryl lynn on April 8, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Dear Lauren,

    After reading through the above suggestions/comments may I just say….ewwwwww! There a bare few decent ideas buried in the stinkers. And no, I don’t have a suggestion of my own because I couldn’t come up with anything better than what you’ve already got and you really don’t need any more fertilizer here. Talk about the Perils of Pauline (make that Penelope).
    You’ll get it. It’ll work.

  175. Bonny on April 8, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Wow Cheryl Lynn…kind of harsh don’t you think?

  176. Courtney on April 8, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Yikes, Cheryl Lynn, relax a bit! These “chores” Lauren sets us are always a bit like throwing spaghetti at a wall. Yes, there’s some mess at the end, but some of the stuff will stick, and you ought to have fun doing it!

    Besides, you never know when someone else’s “bad” idea might spark a good one. Smile, child, for heaven’s sake. 🙂

  177. Elissa on April 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

    The Restoration of the English Camomile
    The Enchantment of the Ruby Dress
    The Redemption of the Porcelain Doll
    The Decision of the Silver Crest

  178. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    In response to Cheryl Lynn, but it could also be used as a joke title: What’s you damage Heather? This is fun after all!

  179. Cho on April 8, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    The Silence of the Ruby Gardenia
    The Redemption of the Fire Lily
    The Exile of the Evening Primrose (’cause she’s kind of “exiled” to India)
    The Exploration of the Exotic Iris
    The Dance of the Venomous Orchid
    The Expedition of the Ruby Jade
    The Expedition of the Golden Lotus
    The Conquering of the Golden Orchid
    The Exile of the Golden Lotus
    The Mystique of the Purple Orchid
    The Mystique of the Fire Lily

  180. Cho on April 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Or maybe the Thorns of the Something Something? The Something of the Thorny Something?

  181. Emily darling on April 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Correspondences Among the Assam Leaves
    Correspondences Among the Scarlet Poppies
    The Exodus of the Exiled Poppy
    The Perambulations of the Precocious Poppy

    The Annals of the Orange Assam Leaf
    The Annals of the Burgundy Assam Leaf

    The Chronicles of the Burgundy Assam Leaf
    The Chronicles of the Orange Assam Leaf
    The Chronicles of the Precocious Poppy

    The Correspondence of the Exiled Poppy
    The Correspondence of the Golden Poppy
    The Correspondence of the Scarlet Poppy
    The Correspondence of the Vermillian Poppy

    The Exodus of the Golden Poppy
    The Exodus of the Scarlet Poppy
    The Exodus of the Vermillian Poppy

    The Perambulations of the Golden Poppy
    The Perambulations of the Scarlet Poppy
    The Perambulations of the Vermillian Poppy

    I really loved the use of the flower poppy, i liked reference to Peneplope’s hair as well as the alliteration with her name: “POPPY,” “PENELOPE.”

    I also looked up indian teas (to tie in with Captain and Colonel Reid) and the most famous are the Assam and the Darjeeling. Assam looked prettier, and a bit more anglo-friendly to me. I’m not so sure what color the leaves are, but i thought orange was a nice reference to Penelope’s hair, as well as her irish (even perhaps protestant) background. Wikipedia had this to say of Assam tea: “This tea, most of which is grown at or near sea level, is known for its body, briskness, malty flavor, and strong, bright color. Assam teas, or blends containing Assam, are often sold as “breakfast” teas. English Breakfast tea, Irish Breakfast tea, and Scottish Breakfast Tea are common generic names.”

    I think the title should have something to do with movement and/or crrespondances, as it sounds like Penelope will be doing a lot of traveling.

  182. Emily darling on April 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    OoOoOoOo! Another One!

    The Odyssey of the Orange Poppy

  183. Sarah J. on April 9, 2009 at 9:07 am

    the redemption of the white iris.

  184. Georgie Becker on April 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    The Bravado of the Moonflower
    The Majestic Moonflower
    The Rebellion of the Nightshade
    The Brazen Blue Poppy
    The Intelligence of the Indian Gentian (yes there is such a flower)
    The Daring Damask Rose
    The Will of the Water Lilly

    All the flowers listed are connected to India.
    The water lily is rich in meaning and metaphor and symbolizes divinity, fertility, wealth, knowledge and enlightenment.
    The Moonflower opens its buds at night and the flowers are white.
    The Blue Poppy is both colorful and a rare ornamental. An interesting fact: a postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate the flower.
    The Damask Rose is renowned for its fragrance and is harvested for rose oil. In South India it is used in garlands and the making of rose-water.
    The Indian Gentian is native in Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim.
    The Nightshade is used for medicinal purposes. In Manipur, a paste of Indian Nightshade fruit with Honey is administered as a medicine for high fever.

  185. Georgie Becker on April 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Oh I thought of three more…
    The Exile of the Exotic English Daisy
    The Exotic English Rose
    Hidden Amongst the Nightshade

  186. DB on April 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    The Virtues of the Saffron Pimpernel
    –because there was a book called the Scarlet Pimpernel–

    The Contrition of the Foxtail Lily
    The Reincarnation of the Blooming Lotus
    Enchanting the Violaceous Fritillary
    The Enlightenment of the Bittersweet Cobra Lily
    The Revitalizing of the Sweet Snow
    The Ardency of the Golden Mistletoe
    The Meddling of the Blushing Larkspur
    The Impishness of the Butterfly Bush
    The Lavishness of the Wild Strawberry
    The Consoling of The Black Nightshade
    The Somnification of the Cherry Belladonna

    The Molten Melilot
    The Glory Lily
    The Marsh Kingcup
    The Yellow Vetchling
    The Spring Cinquefoil
    The Wild Asphodel
    The Kashmir Gentian
    The Primula
    The Delphinium

    The Columbine
    # Sierra Columbine
    # Golden Columbine
    # Desert Columbine
    # Desolation Columbine
    # Calimero Columbine

    # Sweet Iris
    # Mourning Iris
    # Blood Iris
    # Copper Iris

    I think I’ll stop now. 😉

  187. AngelB on April 10, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Another one…blushwort

    From wikipedia:

    Blushwort – A member of the gentian family. Shame flower.

    (I’m shameless I know…I still don’t think Pen is a flower but heck, when in Rome…. ha!)

  188. Victoria on April 10, 2009 at 12:59 am

    The Journey of the Lotus Blossom
    The Exile of the Silk Orchid
    The Fate of Darjeeling Flower

  189. Ashley on April 10, 2009 at 4:23 am

    “The Exploits of the Crimson Azalea”, it kind of rolls off the tongue, no? Azaleas are showy and are sometimes known as the ‘thinking of home flower’. I know if I was packed off to a foreign country with only Freddy Staines for company I’d be thinking of home. a lot.

  190. faith on April 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

    How about “The Redemption of the Valiant Violet” or “The Redemption of the White Lily.”

  191. Ava on April 10, 2009 at 10:54 am

    “Golden Lily” kept coming to mind…I noticed purple was suggested several times, and blue, but…both of those are such cool colors they don’t seem quite right for Pen’s fiery temperament or warmth. Gold has that warmth, would(in an aesthetic sense) compliment/enhance the already fiery nature of her hair, and to me golden flowers in full bloom make me think of Colonel Brandon’s line in Sense and Sensibility: “The air is full of spices.” As for the lily…most people seem to think of white as the color for them, and a white lily represents purity, innocence, etc…so white isn’t quite the color for Penelope, but she does still seem to retain a measure of naivety, despite being “fallen”. The combination seems exotic enough for the book’s setting, and shares a color with marigolds without being quite so common;-)

  192. Laura on April 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    With her being ruined I thought of Scarlet, for The Scarlet Letter. The first flower that came to mind was the poppy – beautiful, a perennial (feisty),and let’s not forget intoxicating. Poppies are exotic yet can grow in many places. These things all remind me of Penelope (I’ve always liked her & I can’t wait for the rest of the book!) I know both of these choices have been said already. I just wanted to agree with everyone who suggested them. Thanks Lauren!

  193. Brianna Winter on April 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    The Intrigue of the Copper Tiger Lily
    The Intrigue of the Copper Sage
    ha i really like “Intrigue” because its mysterious and the color copper because of Penelope’s hair

  194. Brianna Winter on April 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    is also a pretty flower that is found in south India and its a favorite among the ladies because they like to put them in their hair, they range from a salmon color to a yellow to a bright orange. i like them very much and think that Penelope would too

  195. Liz Downey on April 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    I love the idea of using the flower Foxglove in the title. Foxglove is native to Europe and to Asia (so maybe she could see it in India as well as at home!) and is both beautiful (pink and purple flowers) and toxic. That perfectly complements Penelope’s personality, which can be both alluring and prickly!

    P.S. On a random note, are we ever going to see Tommy Fluellen reappear in any future books? He was such a likeable character, and even though your books are written about women, he deserves to find a love of his own! 🙂

  196. Debbie on April 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    The Penitence of the Lavender Saffron.
    I feel Penelope is paying for her indiscretion. Being sent to India, forced marriage and missing her 2 best friends back in London. The Saffron Crocus is a lavender color flower. The stamens are dried and give us the wonderful spice saffron. Saffron has both culinary and healing uses.

  197. Aisling on April 10, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Something Peonies, perhaps The Call of the Peonies. Peonies are hard to open, they are attracting, they symbolize Good Life, Happy Marriage. Myths about them range from having them delivered by Gods to Nymphs hiding in their pedals. For someone like Penelope this is perfect, it talks about marriage(happy?… we’ll have to see), and nymphs which suit someone who was just compromised.

  198. Stephanie Stoddard on April 10, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I still like
    The Indiscretion of the Golden Foxglove
    The Indiscretion of the Golden Lily

  199. DeeDee on April 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    I kinda thought this sounded like Penelope ~

    Periwinkle is a happy-go-lucky small shrub. It cares not for the world. It rejoices in sun or rain, or the seaside, in good or indifferent soil and often grows wild. It is known as ‘Sadabahar’ meaning ‘always in bloom’ and is used for worship. This is one flower which can be found all over India. Lots of cultivars have been developed with various colors, from red to white.

    How about,……”The Blooming of the Red Periwinkle’

  200. Adele on April 11, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Here are some flower’s that I liked for Penelope and what they mean 🙂 Good luck with the title!

    Bellflower “Indiscretion”
    Coriander “hidden worth”
    Gilliflower “enduring beauty/promptess”
    Jessamine “sensuality/amiability”
    Calla Lily; Gardenia; Peony

  201. ana on April 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    redemption of the blue/purple/indigo iris. not sure what color to pick

  202. ana on April 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    or maybe another gemstone like the emerald ring was, with a saphire or amyethist

  203. Stephanie Stoddard on April 11, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Whatever you do do not use names such as White Orlander (movie).. Wysteria reminds me of Desperate Housewive commercials. You want the title to be somewhat unique.

    and as much as i like scarlet for Pen i think its to close to Crimson Rose.. so i would stick to blue or gold or purple or something.. So it does not get too close. A cool title and good cover make someone pick up a book. As we well know whats underneath that keeps us coming back.

    I cant wait to hear what Title or book name you choose. Will you tell us or is it going to stay a secret? 😉

  204. Gina on April 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    So just wondering – are you looking for just flowers or titles? Hmmm I only gave a couple of flowers but then again there are 203 responses now, so I doubt mine are even unique. Oops.
    I adored the first chapter, and I was thinking maybe if we could have a book teaser per month until January…? Since we’re all such devoted fans, and everything. 🙂

  205. Victoria on April 12, 2009 at 8:59 am

    The Trials and Tribulations of the White Lotus
    The Raj Diaries of the Crimson Poppy

  206. nicole on April 12, 2009 at 9:15 am

    the something someing amber freesia or petunia?

  207. Kaylee on April 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I thought of either a lilac which means pride and beauty and Penelope is very proud and i also thought of Iris which means Wisdom and Valor, Faith, Promise in love, Hope. These all describe Penelope i hope this might help.

  208. Rosie O. on April 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I forgot to add to my flower/title suggestions (response 114) “Yellow Dandelion”. This beautiful yellow wild flower is impossible to eradicate but also has edible leaves and possibly some medicinal value. Kind of like Penelope, wild, beautiful, and certainly has some value.

  209. Am7 on April 12, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Dear Lauren and loyal readers,
    My first thought was Calla Lily, as it is a bold unusual flower, but still very pretty. Please google Calla Lilies a picture is better. Plus there are usually white which will look good with her red hair.
    Calla Lily
    I also like the idea of a non flower title. Gem-stone like emarald ring or anything else spy code.

  210. Hannah Collins on April 12, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    another idea that i had

    The Complications of the Coral Bells

    Can’t wait till the title and the rest of the book come out!!

  211. Emily L. on April 13, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Hey Lauren!

    I’m just listing things that I came up with / combined with things I saw already written. Hope that you can get a title out of our brainstorming 🙂 Love your books by the way!

    The Blooming of the Orange Lotus
    The Blooming of the Fiery Lotus
    In the Bloom of the Tiger Lily
    The Liberation of the Tiger Lily
    The Redemption of the Tiger Lily
    The Blossoming of the Tiger Lily
    The Blossoming of the Orange Lotus
    The Blossoming of the Auburn Lotus

    Flowers: Tiger Lily, Lotus

    So excited for Pink VI!

    -Emily L.

  212. holly v on April 13, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    out of all of the above suggestions i would have to say I like

    I have nothing else original to say except i love your books!

  213. Casi Nerina on April 14, 2009 at 6:25 am

    The Blossoming of the Flame of the Forest
    The Blossoming of the Chichra Tesu

    Or just “The Flame of the Forest”

    It’s a flower native to India

  214. Debra Callaway on April 14, 2009 at 9:34 am

    How about Passion of the Purple Primrose?

    Down the Primrose Path

    The Jaded Ruby

  215. Kimmie on April 14, 2009 at 10:45 am

    How about The Precarious Path of the Desert Rose? or The Perilous Plight of the Lotus Blossom?

  216. Katie Clyde on April 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    What if you did a bird or gemstone instead of a flower…
    How about the “Ruse of the Ruby Macaw”
    or the “Trickery of the Topaz Tiara”.
    For flower names I like the use of Tiger Lily. Perhaps the “Entanglement of the Tiger Lily” or the “Liaison with the Tiger Lily”. Another one I like is the “Intrigue of the Iris”.


  217. Megan on April 14, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    This is a bit late in coming, but I just found the time to read the chapter, and bravo! I’m sure we’ll all be waiting with bated breath for future installments (pretty please!).

    As for flowers, apologies if these have already been mentioned, but for Penelope I was thinking…

    the Auburn Crossandra
    the Scarlet Empress (it’s a tree but it has real pretty blossoms)
    the Amethist Amaranth
    the Violet Lockspur
    teh Scarlet Milkweed

  218. Megan on April 14, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    PS. I found this amusing. There is a flower native to India called a Pussy Ears. 😀

  219. Stacie Andrews on April 14, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Wow. There are a lot of great titles and flowers. Here are my suggestions:

    1. The Illusions of the Mysterious Tiger Lily
    2. The Redemption of the Rouge Gardenia
    3. The Enchantment of the purple Oleander
    4. The Awakening of the Majestic Lotus
    5. The Rein of the Majestic Tiger Lily

  220. Wendy Wellesley on April 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I see many people have beat me to suggesting the lotus. It is appropriate for many reasons:

    -Flower of India
    -It also has a nice Greek theme going on –Penelope wife of Odysseus who encounters the Lotus Eaters. The lotus eaters could be a good metaphor for Pen when she doesn’t consider her future and cares only for present delights.
    -In the language of flowers, it’s meaning has varied (based on my quick internet search!) from Mystery and Truth to purity to forgetful of the past to eloquence to estranged love.

    As for the title:
    The Flowering of the Lotus
    The Lure of the Lotus
    A Drifting Lotus

    You simply must use “lotus” because of this quote: “God is the Sun and when His rays fall upon your heart, not impeded by the clouds of egoism, the lotus blooms and the petals unfold.” (Sri Sathya Sai Baba) Because of Freddy’s ego!

    In addition, for a future book, might I suggest the Zenith of the Zinnia? :)))

  221. Catt Brown on April 15, 2009 at 3:42 am

    I like
    “The Blossoming of the Red Lotus”,
    or maybe
    “The Redemption of the Red Lotus” if it goes better with the story. Anything with “ruby” would also work well, representing both India and Pen’s hair. I enjoyed the first chapter and can’t wait for the rest!

  222. amy ebth on April 15, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I love your books. If I didn’t have them on audio I am afraid the bindings would have worn away by now! I thought, if not too late, that I may submit some title ideas.


    Hope you like them.

  223. am7 on April 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I still like Calla Lily, an exotic looking flower native to England, but i liked a few more.
    First off: kudoes to whoever came up with Pomegranate. Great Idea I like Jeweled Pomegranate.
    I also like Cream Calla Lily, Cream being an off-white symbolizing ruin, but still good. Instead of any flower using blossom is good. Scarlet Blossom or even Gardenia Blossom
    while most of the books had colors Char’s did not.
    I also like anything leafy.
    I also am unsure if Pen is a spy; Freddy is, so could she be one. I don’t like purple for her not sure why. I do like gold, or scarlet or even navy.
    The Coercion Of Golden Camillia
    The Coercion of Cream Calla Lily

    I also like my favorite flower perhaps for Pen
    Scarlet impatiens
    Golden Impatiens pretty flower signifigance obvious

    Finally I still like non flower names
    Sapphire, Ruby, etc.
    One name I just thought of was Colleen,
    most people know it as a name but back then it was not yet name and used as a word. Its an Irish word meaning girl
    The Redemption Of the Transplanted Colleen

  224. AngelB on April 16, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    More I think about it, the word “Wanton” would be good in the title, don’t you think?

  225. AngelB on April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Yes, I’m killing time cooking dinner and loading videos onto my facebook page. 🙂

    Saw a website that said orchids were not proper for ladies in Victorian times to grow or even look at because they resembled sex organs. How funny is that???

  226. Nancy on April 17, 2009 at 11:06 am

    It seems that Penelope will certainly have to overcome many trials in India,and also prove herself to those at home so how about “The Redemption of the Red Ginger Lily”, or “the Triumph of the Torch Ginger?”

  227. Jeans on April 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    What about Wisteria? Is it a semi-wild vine from the orient. It can sometimes be difficult to get started, but once firmly settled it becomes difficult to control and will take over your garden, lawn, etc. if it is not tended to on a regular basis.

  228. Pamela on April 18, 2009 at 12:20 am

    how bout: allure of the jungle flower,
    scent of the jungle flower,
    cobra in the chrysanthemums,
    tribulations of the jacarta jade,
    machinations of the yellow marigold,
    a snake in the sapphires,
    misadventures of the red jade,
    misadventures of the yellow marigold,
    retribution of the red jade,
    red jade and the pink rubies,
    sacrifice of the golden lotus,
    sacrifice of the silver sapphire,
    sacrifice of the blue lotus,
    retribution of the jungle flower,
    tribulations of the jeweled jade,
    travails of the tiger lily,…hope these are not too awful! just some phrasing for ideas…luv the books btw!!

  229. Pamela on April 18, 2009 at 11:05 am

    revenge of the tiger lily
    betrayal of the blue poppy
    morning of the white marigold
    revenge of the pink ruby
    scent of the poisoned poppy
    surrender of the scented sweetpea
    betrayal of the blue lotus
    turnabout of the tiger lily
    betrayal of the red jade
    revenge of the vermillion poppy

  230. am7 on April 20, 2009 at 12:53 am

    okay I have read this chapter several times and i don’t understand something. what does it mean that “Penelope wondered which carried Freddy’s vowels this time.” Carry his vowels?

  231. Lauren on April 20, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Hi, am7! To carry someone’s vowels means to hold an IOU from them– basically, it’s just a way of saying that someone owes money. And since Freddy loses frequently at cards, he’s frequently handing out his vowels to people.

  232. Anne on April 21, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Of the titles above, these are my favorites:
    The Silent Blooming of the Scarlet Oleander by Catherine
    The Irritation of the Tiger Lily by Rachel
    The Perilous Plight of the Lotus Blossom, by Kimmie
    The Embrace of the Opulent Marigold, by Amy Beth
    I really like the use of “opulent”. We should use that work more often in everyday communication, don’t you think?

    Super insights from Wendy. Thank you! I hadn’t even put the heritage of her name with the plot in which Penelope has entangled herself. Lauren is always surprising me with how cleverly she writes each character and story.
    I agree with Angel, Pen is not a flower, but a wanton. She’s a firecracker or a lightning bolt. The Passionate Blaze in the Exotic Garden? A little too Harlequin?
    But I’m also thinking that this book will be as much a growing up story for Pen as Charlotte’s was for her (perhaps and hopefully much more for Freddy?). That makes me think of the road or journey that we choose to learn about life. Of course, Pen was in India, so she, like Siddhartha, would have a river. The Surreptitious Journey of the Opulent Flame? The cadence isn’t quite right…

  233. Shauna Jones on April 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    “The Audacity of the Flaming Red Ginger” is my suggestion. Penelope is a girl who is not afraid to cross the line to get what she wants in life, good or bad.
    Looking forward to reading your next book.

  234. Jessica on April 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I know that so many people have already commented, and maybe you’ve figured something out, but there is a flower called the Empress of India, or Nasturtium majus. They’re a deep crimson with a velvet-like texture. They’re also hardy annuals, so they’re tough to shut down.

    Though honestly, when I read it was about Pen I immediately thought something purple. Morning Glories, Purple Iris (Iris ensata ‘Eden’s Purple Glory,) or something nice like that.

  235. Stephanie Stoddard on April 21, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I am so excited i cannot wait to see what you pick Lauren. Its going to be exciting that one of us got to help you choose a flower or inspired a title. I love that you involve us. I am sure many of us would love to write stories like yours. They are so wonderful and fun, it gives us a little chance to be involved in what we loved. Even if we never have the chance to write it ourselves.

  236. Barb G on April 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I’m sure it’s probably too late to help you any, but I just read this post (fabulous, as usual). Has anyone else suggested orchid or hyacinth? Good luck!

  237. Katie on April 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I like the idea of using Daffodil (yeah Narcissus) or Dahlia (whose Japanese name means Peony of India and are also stunningly beautiful) in the title. I’m also a fan of somehow incorporating her rise from ruin… that whole sort of redemption/ perseverance thing.

    So perhaps…

    The Redemption of the Copper Jonquil
    The Cultivation of the Wild Daffodil
    The Taming of the Wild Daffodil
    The Awakening of the English Daffodil
    The Enchantment of the Lonely Daffodil
    The Enchantment of the Carmine Dahlia
    The Enchantment of the Deserted Dahlia
    The Requital of the White Dahlia
    The Redemption of the Jade Dahlia
    The Redemption of the Titian Dahlia

    Regardless… I like the use of Daffodil or Dahlia… even Jonquil (which is essentially a Daffodil anyway)… and I also like the reference to being wild, lonely, deserted, and needing redemption.

  238. Jenna L. on April 23, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I am already in love with this chapter! AS far as possible titles go, there have been some wonderful suggestions already.

    I thought of something like..
    “The Redemption of the Red Clover” because Pen is part Irish and the red clover is an irish wildflower…

    to continue with the Irish Wildflower theme…
    “The Courage of the Resolute Bellflower”
    “The Trials of the Daring Foxglove”

  239. Becca on April 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Great chapter! I can’t wait to read more!

    How about “The Unveiling of the Murderous Marigold.” Or perhaps substitute exposure or revelation for unveiling. Likewise malignant could be used instead of murderous.

  240. Gillian on April 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Dear Ms. Willig,

    I absolutely love all of your books. I know this is a little late in coming, I don’t even know if the contest is still on? After reading the above chapter (which was really great) I couldn’t help thinking of a cornflower for Penelope. It’s a fairly common place flower, but in fact is very hardy and has shown the ability to grow and thrive all over the world. Somehow I thought that the strength and tenacity of this flower would relate very well. Perhaps something for a title like
    “The Revenge of the Saphire Cornflower” ? Or Something Blue Cornflower?

  241. Pamela on April 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    taking a break so here are a few more:
    pursuit of the poisonous
    pursuit of the petulant pomegranite
    altercations of the alabaster lily
    (or lotus)
    repentence of the ignominious iris
    revelations of the garnet gladiola
    resolution of the carmine calendula
    resolution of the fiery foxglove
    resolution of the flowering
    wayward road of the wilted lily
    tribulations of the redbud tree
    perseverance of the purple peony
    scent of the opulent orange
    unveiling of the violet verbena
    unveiling of the scarlet scabiosa
    unveiling of the garnet gladiola
    journey of the red jade
    journey of the jungle flower…
    i’m a little bit tired and these are perhaps a little bit corny…but really fun! thanx for allowing us to participate!

  242. Danielle on April 26, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Great chapter!! I am eagerly awaiting the rest of the book (I read the last one in a single day, haha)

    Here are my suggestions:

    The Redemption of the Tiger Lily
    The Persuasion of the Morning Glory
    The Revival of the Mauve Orchid
    The Return of the Blushing Lotus

    Hope that helps!

  243. Jill M. on April 27, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Hello Ms. Willig,

    I would like to contribute a suggestion….

    The Envy of the Burnt Amber

    I like the Burnt part as Penelope has been “burned”. Amber is a resin from trees, which has a beautiful deep color and is often made into jewelry. I liked the idea of something other then another flower if there is a marigold in the text. Only you know if Envy is appropriate or not. Not to mention isn’t Eloise a redhead, too?

    Thanks, and happy writing!!

  244. Victoria on April 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    The Gilded Cage of the Golden Cala Lily

  245. Bre' M. on April 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    how about the Blue Gem, Tiger Lily, or my personal favorite the Dahlia? 😀

  246. rebecca on April 29, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Love the first chapter, I was thinking either Purple Lily, or Yellow Snapdragon. At least that’s what i’ve thought of so far

  247. Katie Hillyer on April 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    something something Calcutta Calla Lily

  248. Sharon on May 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    For me, Pen is a Heliconia…in particular, a Heliconia psittacorum (Parrot Heliconia). Lovely, rare, intimidating; not at all what one would call “cuddly”, but with a curious delicacy about it.

    Perhaps “The Tenacity of Heliconia”?

  249. Lindsay Ridlehuber on May 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I’m not sure if someone has suggested this but how about the The Atonement of the Violet Orchid or the Atonement of the Violet foxglove? Or even the Atonement of the Violet Lily?

    Both the orchid and the foxglove grow wild in Ireland according the the internet and I think of violet as a bold color which is what I think of when I think of Penelope. And Atonement because Penelope is basically serving out a sentence married to Freddy in India due to her past transgressions.

    Just a thought, loved some of the others on the site!

  250. Alyson on June 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Another great start. I can’t wait for this book. I like the final title. I can’t wait to read Penelope’s story. This series is one of the best and can’t wait to see how it all plays out

  251. Cait on June 13, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Is it wrong that I want Penelope to have an affair? I have to say, your books have been full of morals & happy endings. Lets have some illicit fun 😉

    No I’m joking. But it would be unexpected & exciting

  252. Curt Perreira on March 5, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    This blog is great. How did you come up witht he idea?

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